Thin film solar cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thin film solar cell
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A thin-film solar cell (TFSC), also called a thin-film photovoltaic cell (TFPV), is a solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers (thin film) of photovoltaic material on a substrate. The thickness range of such a layer is wide and varies from a few nanometers to tens of micrometers. Many different photovoltaic materials are deposited with various deposition methods on a variety of substrates. Thin-film solar cells are usually categorized according to the photovoltaic material used: Amorphous silicon (a-Si) and other thin-film silicon (TF-Si) Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Copper indium gallium selenide (CIS or CIGS) Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) and other organic solar cells

Cross-section of thin film polycrystalline solar cell.

1 History 2 Thin-film silicon 2.1 Design and fabrication 2.2 Micromorphous silicon 2.3 Efficiency 2.4 Building integrated photovoltaics 3 Organic solar cells 4 Efficiencies, volumes and prices 5 Production, cost and market 6 Installations 7 Time Award 8 See also 9 Notes 10 Sources Possible combinations of Group-(I, III, VI) elements in the periodic table that yield a compound showing photovoltaic effect (Cu, Ag, Au | Al, Ga, In | S, Se, Te).

Initially appearing as small strips powering hand-held calculators, thin-film PV is now available in very large modules used in sophisticated building-integrated installations and vehicle charging systems. GBI Research projects thin film production to grow 24% from 2009 levels and to reach 22,214 MW in 2020. "Expectations are that in the long-term, thin-film solar PV technology would surpass dominating conventional solar PV technology, thus enabling the long sought-after grid parity objective."[1][2]

Thin-film silicon
A silicon thin-film cell is a thin-film cell that uses amorphous (a-Si or a-Si:H), protocrystalline, nanocrystalline
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Thin film solar cell .to n-type contact is better than holes moving from p. The quantum efficiency of thin-film solar cells is also lower due to reduced number of collected charge carriers per incident photon.7 eV) than crystalline silicon (c-Si) (1. Therefore.[3]. solutions to overcome the limitations of thin-film silicon have been developed. and thus the collection rate of electrons moving from the p.1 eV). the p-type layer should be placed at the top where the light intensity is stronger. Thin-film silicon is opposed to wafer (or bulk) silicon (monocrystalline or polycrystalline).[4] Efficiency These types of silicon present dangling and twisted bonds. The silicon is deposited on glass. the nc-Si and a-Si can advantageously be combined in thin layers. so that the majority of the charge carriers crossing the junction would be electrons. but are also less expensive to produce. in a top and a bottom photovoltaic cell. amorphous and microcrystalline. Design and fabrication The silicon is mainly deposited by chemical vapor n-type contact. which means it absorbs the visible part of the solar spectrum more strongly than the infrared portion of the spectrum.wikipedia. The solar cells made from these materials tend to have lower energy conversion efficiency than bulk silicon (also called crystalline or wafer silicon). As nc-Si has about the same bandgap as c-Si. This is because the mobility of electrons in a-Si:H is roughly 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than that of holes. creating a layered cell called a tandem (nc-Si or nc-Si:H) or black silicon. Solar Cell Efficiencies Amorphous silicon has a higher bandgap (1. The top cell in a-Si absorbs the visible light and leaves the infrared part of the spectrum for the bottom cell in nc-Si.[citation needed] Building integrated photovoltaics 2 of 6 03-Feb-11 11:39 PM . Other deposition techniques being investigated include sputtering and hot wire techniques. plastic or metal which has been coated with a layer of transparent conducting oxide (TCO). Thermal processing techniques enhance the crystallinity of the silicon and pacify electronic defects. from silane gas and hydrogen gas. the free encyclopedia http://en. Recently. Use of protocrystalline silicon for the intrinsic layer has shown to optimize the open circuit voltage of an a-Si photovoltaic cell. which results in deep defects (energy levels in the bandgap) as well as deformation of the valence and conduction bands (band tails). A p-i-n structure is usually used. Micromorphous silicon Micromorphous silicon module technology combines two different types of silicon. Light trapping schemes where the incoming light is obliquely coupled into the silicon and the light traverses the film several times enhance the absorption of sunlight in the films. typically plasma-enhanced (PE-CVD). as opposed to an n-i-p structure.

[6] Annual manufacturing volume in the United States has grown from about 12 megawatts (MW) per year in 2003 to more than 20 MW/yr in 2004. The advantage over tradition PV panels is that they are very low in weight. Future module efficiencies are expected to climb close to the state-of-the-art of today's best cells. 40-50 MW/yr production levels are expected in 2005 with continued rapid growth in the years after that.wikipedia. and could reach even lower levels—well under $50/m2. the production cost of silicon-based solar cell module in 2008 was at some point 4-5 times higher than that of thin film modules. thin-film modules will cost less than fifty cents per watt to manufacture. or to about 10-16%. Thin-film producers still enjoy in 2009 price advantage as its production cost is 20% less than that of silicon modules. are not subject to wind lifting. and can be walked on (with care). and production modules in the range of Thin film solar panels are commercially available for installation onto the roofs of buildings. either applied onto the finished roof. Costs are expected to drop to below $100/m2 in volume production. Although a very novel technology it is promising since it offers a very low cost solution. opening new markets such as cost-effective distributed power and utility production to thin-film electricity generation. The comparable disadvantages are increased cost and reduced efficiency.[5] The performance and potential of thin-film materials are high.It is expected that the production cost of thin-film will continue dropping (40% less than silicon). A silicon thin film technology is being developed for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in the form of semitransparent solar cells which can be applied as window glazing. reaching cell efficiencies of 12%-20%. prototype module efficiencies of 7%-13%. incremental improvements have resulted in modules capable of converting 12 to 18 percent of solar radiation into electricity. At these levels. the DOE/NREL goal for thin films—when fully optimized. or integrated into the roof covering. These cells function as window tinting while generating electricity.[7] As crystalline silicon price rose.Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia http://en. Thin film photovoltaic panels being installed onto a roof Organic solar cells The Organic solar cell is another alternative to the more conventional materials used to make photovoltaics. volumes and prices Since the invention of the first modern silicon solar cell in 1954.Thin film solar cell . Efficiencies. as Chinese producers are now putting more resources into R&D and partnering with manufacturing equipment suppliers[8] Production. cost and market 3 of 6 03-Feb-11 11:39 PM .

[13] First Solar announced a 7." Below is a list of several recent installations:[6] Since 16 October 2008.cfm?ReleaseID=324202) [2] (http://news.5/W. Efficiency of thin film solar is considerably lower and thin film solar manufacturing equipment suppliers intend to score costs of below USD 1/W. Over eleven thousand cadmium telluride modules.firstsolar. Germany is expected to produce over 9 GWh annually A 40 MW system is being installed by Juwi in Waldpolenz Solar Park.html) First Solar is partnering with Sempra Generation. First Solar recently completed a 2. from First Solar.[16]. where the California Public Utilities Commission has accepted a 12 ¢/kWh power purchase agreement with First Solar (after the application of all incentives).[9] Those equipment suppliers have been doing R&D for micro-morphous silicon modules since 2008.[19] See also 4 of 6 03-Feb-11 11:39 PM .2 per installed watt. has been in operation and producing solar power in Moers near Duisburg.[14] Construction of a 10 MW plant in the Nevada desert began in July 2008.8KW of thin film flexible solar panels manufactured by Uni-Solar Ovonic installed on a South Beach hurricane-prone residence in 2008. the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) expects that manufacturing capacities for these technologies will double to over 4GW by 2010 representing a market share of around 20%.70.[15] 4.5 MW system to be installed in Blythe.Thin film solar cell . being built next to their natural gas plant. and Anwell Technologies Limited claimed that they intend to bring it down further to USD 0. over 300 MW of First Solar PV modules had been installed worldwide. deliver a total of 837 kW [12]. Germany.Wikipedia. Denver-based Conergy Americas and officials at California's South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID)[17] have installed what is believed to be the world's first single-axis solar tracking system featuring thin-film photovoltaic cells. constructed by Riedel Recycling.[10] With such potential of further development of thin film solar technology.3) to $4.4 MW rooftop installation as part of Southern California Edison program to install 250 MW of rooftop solar panels throughout Southern California over by 2013. Germany's largest thin-film pitched roof system.cnet. [1] (http://investor. the manufacturers of thin-film solar modules are bringing costs down and gaining in competitive strength through advanced thin film technology. This technology represents a development based on the thin-film panels made of ordinary amorphous silicon marketed at present that brings higher cell efficiency by depositing an additional absorber layer made of micro crystalline silicon on the amorphous In recent years. the traditional crystalline silicon technologies will not give up their market positions for a few years because they still hold considerable development potential in terms of the cost.25 euros translated then (when the euro was equal to US$1. the CdTe thin-film manufacturer stated that "at the end of 2007. However. it was both the largest planned and lowest cost PV system in the world.[11] Installations First Solar. Stadtwerke Trier (SWT) in Trier. Some equipment suppliers even claim that there will be machinery in market to manufacture these new modules at $0. the free encyclopedia http://en. At the time of its announcement.[18] Time Award Thin-film photovoltaic cells are included in the TIME's Best Inventions of 2008. which will own and operate the PV power-plant. The price of /releasedetail.wikipedia.

http://me. ^ Yotam Ariel and Coco Liu.ipe. /article/2009/12/chinese-manufacturers-eye-thinfilm-pv-market?cmpid=WNL-WednesdayDecember16-2009) . ^ GBI Research (2011). 14.1063/1.pdf. Deng.uni-stuttgart.nrel. ^ "First Solar announces two solar projects with Southern California Edison" ( List of photovoltaics companies Low-cost photovoltaic cell Notes /people/pearce/publications/documents/t14. Retrieved 29 January 2011.semiconductor-today. /Contenidosecciones. W.html) .Wikipedia.asp?ID=15&Cod=5767& Nombre=PV+solar 03-Feb-11 11:39 PM .com. Collins.motherearthnews. 2008-03-27. ^ Steve Heckeroth (February/March 2010). "Thin Film Photovoltaic PV Cells Market Analysis to 2020 CIGS Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide to Emerge as the Major Technology by 2020" (http://www. ^ About the Thin Film Partnership Program (http://www. ^ "California Utility to Install 250MW of Roof-Top Solar" ( http://www. ^ /index-e.sustainablebusiness. R. gbiresearch. 6. NextInsight.cfm /go/news. http://www.thinfilmtoday.aspx?ID=Thin-Film-Photovoltaic-PV-CellsMarket-Analysis-to-2020-CIGS-Copper-IndiumGallium-Diselenide-to-Emerge-as-the-MajorTechnology-by-2020& ReportType=Industry_Report&coreindustry=ALL& Title=Power_~_Alternative_Energy) . Wronski (2007).ca /people/pearce/publications/documents/ / /Report.2714507) .gbiresearch. 13.htm) . ^ "Germany’s largest thin-film pitched roof system begins production" (http://www.gbiresearch.Thin film solar cell . 28 October 2008.pdf.pv-tech. Podraza. J. /germanys_largest_thin_film_pitched_roof_system_b egins_production/.thinfilmtoday. R. /Thin-Film-Solar-Utility-Scale-PV-Power. ^ "Photovoltaics: Thin-film technology about to make its breakthrough" ( Thin film today.aspx?ID=Thin-Film-Photovoltaic-PV-CellsMarket-Analysis-to-2020-CIGS-Copper-IndiumGallium-Diselenide-to-Emerge-as-the-MajorTechnology-by-2020& ReportType=Industry_Report&coreindustry=ALL& Title=Power_~_Alternative_Energy.sustainablebusiness. and C. ^ "Amorphes Silizium für Solarzellen" (http://www. "Chinese Manufacturers Eye Thin-film PV Market" (http://www.queensu. M.display/id/15670.aspx) . http://www. Journal of Applied Physics 101: /solarmagazin/index-e. Pearce. ^ "ANWELL produces its first solar panel" (http://nextinsight. http://www. http://www. ^ http://www.display/id/15670) . http://www.cfm/go/news. "Optimization of Open-Circuit Voltage in Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells with Mixed Phase (Amorphous + Nanocrystalline) p-Type Contacts of Low Nanocrystalline Content" (http://me.html. Mother Earth ""The Promise of Thin-Film Solar"" (http://www.2714507 (http://dx. 9. /2008/JULY/FIRSTSOLAR_170708. /Report. 10.pdf) (in German) /pdf/Versuch4. Solar server.html) 8.motherearthnews. /article/2009/03/utility-scale-thin-film-threenew-plants-in-germany-total-almost5 of 6 50-mw?cmpid=WNL-Friday-March13-2009) 7.aspx.1063%2F1. Al-Jassim. the free encyclopedia http://en. ^ "EPIA projects a rosy picture for the thin film industry" ( /germanys_largest_thin_film_pitched_roof_system_b egins_production/) .pdf) .com / . 2008-07-17.renewableenergyworld. K.php/story-archivemainmenu-60/36-2009/1480-anwell-producesits-first-solar-panel. Semiconductor-Today. http://www. 2008-09-01.M.pv-tech. /article/2009/12/chinese-manufacturers-eye-thinfilm-pv-market?cmpid=WNL-WednesdayDecember16-2009.php/story-archivemainmenu-60/36-2009/1480-anwell-producesits-first-solar-panel) . Retrieved 2010-03-23.ipe. Jones. SustainableBusiness. ^ a b Utility-Scale Thin-Film: Three New Plants in Germany Total Almost 50 MW (http://www.

See Terms of Use for details. Wronski. Martin. S. 10 (June 3. Chopra. von Roedern. Characterization and /008PRGridConnectionpartIIofBrandis2008_02. 17. 15. P.000 In Annual Utility Bill Savings .de /information/press /008PRGridConnectionpartIIofBrandis2008_02. 2008-10-29. ^ "Report at /conergy-inc-1210/news/article/2009/04/conergybrings-worlds-first-known-thin-film-solar-energytracking-system-and-400000-in-annual-utilitybill-savings-to-californias-south-san-joaquinirrigation-district?cmpid=WNL-WednesdayApril22-2009) 19. Critical Issues. 2007): 15-19. 1-3 (2004): 3-8. K. Time. Martin A. /2008/JULY/FIRSTSOLAR_170708. Retrieved 2010-05-25. TIME's Best Inventions of 2008. 2008. Guy.time. S. Hamakawa. Beaucarne.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” Solar Energy 76.1852747_1854195_1854153.html. “Thin-film solar cells: review of materials.R. http://international. no. “Thin-film Si:H-based solar cells. Sources Grama. ^ "25. a non-profit organization.” Vacuum 82.renewableenergyworld. L. “Thin-film solar cells: an overview. Y.28804. and B.1852747_1854195_1854153. Ullal. Green. 16.pdf) . technologies and commercial status. 2008): 1145-1150. no.time.Wikipedia. “Silicon Thin-Film Solar Cells. “A Survey of Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaic Industry & Technologies. Thin-Film Solar Cells: Next Generation Photovoltaics and Its Applications. 5 (2006): 393-411. high throughput and versatile alternative to Si wafers.juwi. 2004. M.” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications 14. Thin-Film Solar Panels" (http://www. Preprint” (2007). J. 2-3 (2004): /0. Paulson.pdf. Von Roedern. no. http://www. and Applications. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.juwi. Dutta... Wiley. Green.. Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication. 6 of 6 03-Feb-11 11:39 PM .wikipedia. April 19.wikipedia.” Advances in OptoElectronics 2007 (August 2007): 12. Springer. and A. Green.html) .00. “Thin Film CIGS and CdTe Photovoltaic Technologies: Commercialization. B. Hegedus.. ^ the homepage of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (http://www.and $400. Retrieved from " 18. C. Inc..00. and V.ssjid.” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications /0. and V. A. “Recent developments in photovoltaics. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike California's South San Joaquin Irrigation District (http://www. Miami Herald. the free encyclopedia http://en. D.” Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 18 (October 1. Arkhipov. ^ Conergy Brings World's First Known Thin-Film Solar Energy Tracking System .” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications 14. 2006. ^ "Greening Up The House". “Thin film solar modules: the low cost. S." (http://international. Kolodziej. additional terms may apply. 5 (2006): 383-392. “Consolidation of thin-film photovoltaic technology: the coming decade of opportunity.htm.Thin film solar cell .org/wiki/Thin_film_solar_cell" Categories: Thin-film cells | Photovoltaics manufacturers This page was last modified on 29 January 2011 at 22:59. no. no.28804. H.